Jan. 27, 2019
The short-term rental industry is crowded with hosts ranging from homeowners trying to earn a little cash on the side to professional managers with a full portfolio of properties. To get your share of guests, you may be tempted to accept every reservation that comes in. But doing this is a surefire way to get dinged with a late-night party—broken furniture, red solo cups everywhere and unhappy neighbours complaining about the noise. So where’s the compromise? How do you protect your property from impending issues like parties while still accepting reservations and growing your business?
A lasting solution is for property managers to use guest screening. A thorough guest screening process prevents bad guests from getting into your properties. By doing a bit of preliminary research on the guest and asking about their trip details, you can be sure of exactly who you’re booking. Having safety and security procedures in place will block bad guests while attracting good ones, helping your rental business flourish.
Here are just a few of the ways guest screening can help grow your short-term rental business:
Improve your reputation
Reputation is everything in the short-term rental industry. One bad review can send your rental tailspinning. Being known for neglecting the safety of your property or guests can cause booking rates to plummet—not to mention annoy your neighbours and building staff. This is where guest screening comes in.
By screening each reservation, you can scrub your reputation clean. If you book bad guests time and time again, you’ll be labelled as a “party” property. People will book your suite because they know they can get away with anything. This reputation will follow you around the short-term rental industry, undercutting any hopes of partnering with new clients and onboarding their properties.
Improve your reputation, not only on booking sites but among your neighbours and community as well. Guest screening shuts down bad guests and raises the standards of the industry as a whole. By prioritizing safety and security, you can keep the reservations rolling in.
Remove booking restrictions
Booking restrictions are a major hindrance to optimizing your revenue. One-night stays and high-risk holidays, like New Year’s Eve, are prime opportunities to rake in revenue, but the possibility of a guest throwing a party increases significantly with these bookings.
Instead of refusing these reservations, screen your guests to ensure they have good intentions. The ones who don’t will quickly stand out. Bad guests, typically, are vague with their trip details, looking to book quickly without having to divulge much information. By asking about their travel plans, you’ll ensure the bad guests don’t slip through the cracks. With faith in your guest-screening practices, you can lift your booking restrictions and capitalize on all revenue opportunities.
Cut unnecessary costs
Property damage bills rack up quickly. Sometimes the damage costs resulting from a reservation are higher than the reservation itself. A certain amount of wear and tear is to be expected, but when the damages are caused by disrespectful behaviour, that’s a whole different story. If you catch bad guests through guest screening, you won’t have to worry about patching up holes in the wall or fixing broken furniture.
Avoiding bad guests also allows you to cut back on other expenses. For instance, if you hire cleaners who charge by the hour, post-party cleanups will cost you a fortune. You shouldn’t have to do a deep clean every weekend. By cutting out the bad guests, you’ll save money and time between reservations, giving you the luxury of offering an early check-in to your next guest.
Focus on expanding
To find success in the short-term rental industry, operators need to expand their property portfolios. Onboarding more properties allows you to book more guests and increase your revenues. But managing properties is no easy task. Even just a few can be immensely time-consuming, especially if you’re spending half your day cleaning up after messy guests or apologizing to neighbours for excessive noise.
By screening your guests, you won’t have to worry about bad guests trashing your apartment. Instead of spending your days scrubbing floors or wrestling guests over security deposits, avoid the mess entirely by vetoing risky bookings. This will give you the time and resources to onboard more properties and focus on customer service.
Unfortunately, manual guest screening takes a lot of time and effort, and leaves a huge margin for human error. To streamline the process, consider using a guest-screening software like Autohost. Catch troublesome guests and intercept any fraudulent activity before it’s too late.